The links on this page are intended to provide you with ideas of what is available and how to get unusual items on the Internet. Although I have had good experience with most of the entities that provide the web sites that these links point to, their inclusion here does not constitute an endorsement of anyone. Please use these links as a starting point for your web research on green items and hard-to-find items.
Please note that many of the items here are for rechargeable batteries and other items that must be disposed of properly. Please consult your local authorities for proper recycling or disposal procedures. You will find that disposing of these items properly is simple and easily accomplished.
Sealed and Maintenance-Free Lead-Acid Batteries
These batteries are used in household and small business alarm systems, scooters and e-Bikes, motorcycles, uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) for computers and home entertainment systems, and many other uses. There are a number of types of sealed lead-acid batteries:
- Deep-discharge batteries are used in scooters and other electric vehicles that must maintain good voltage and power output while discharging most of their capacity.
- Valve-regulated lead-acid (VRLA) batteries are the maintenance-free batteries used in most cars and motorcycles today; they are NOT sealed.
- Small sealed lead-acid batteries (SLA) or Gelcell ® is the most common type. A variant is known as the valve-regulated lead-acid (VRLA) is larger but perhaps more versatile in operating in any position.
- Absorbed glass mat (AGM) uses a glass fiber mat to stabilize the acid electrolyte gel and support the lead plates. This type is the most resistant to shock and vibration and produces the least hydrogen gas on discharge, but is more expensive that SLA and VRLA types. It is used on scooters and electric vehicles that must be shipped by air because the AGM type is often the only type of lead-acid battery allowed by air transport facilities, and in high-vibration applications such as race cars and motorcycles.
- Lithium-Ion batteries are sometimes used in place of lead-acid batteries.
- Lithium batteries, not to be confused with lithium-ion batteries, are high power and longer life than other types such as alkaline but usually not rechargeable.
SLA and VRLA batteries are produced in deep-discharge and conventional configurations. AGM batteries do not lend themselves well to deep-discharge configurations. Most of these don't like to be stored too cold or too hot, so bring them indoors for long periods of inactivity.
Replacing a Lead-Acid Battery
The first thing to do is to note the characteristics of the battery. Use the information painted, printed, or imprinted on the battery. You will need some or all of this information:
- The model number of the battery and its manufacturer. This can be of many formats. It is usually a short combination of letters and numbers, as CP-12130. The battery model number may not have meaning outside the manufacturer's catalog, but a web search on the model number may lead you to an exact replacement from the original manufacturer or another manufacturer.
- The voltage and capacity. This is usually of the form "12 Volts, 14 Ampere-Hours." You must match the voltage with your replacement battery and you should match or slightly exceed the ampere-hour capacity.
- The type of terminal and location on the battery. Batteries come with spade-type terminals, lug terminals, and other types. Unless the terminal type of your new battery is the same as that of the battery you are replacing, you will need to make up terminal connection conversions to hook up your new battery. If the terminals are placed or oriented differently from those of your old battery, you may need to make up small extensions to connect your new battery.
- The dimensions of the battery. The height, width, and depth of your old battery usually mark dimensions that may not be exceeded because most appliance batteries are shoe-horned into cases or installation spaces that essentially require a direct fit. Physically smaller batteries usually cannot provide the ampere-hour capacity of larger batteries, so you usually must match the physical size exactly or very closely.
- Battery type. If your original battery was an AGM type, you must use an AGM type or you can no longer ship your appliance by air, for example. A deep-discharge type must be replaced by a deep-discharge type or your scooter will become slower and less powerful as its battery discharges.
Links for Batteries and Related Items
Note the disclaimer at the top of this page; use these links to get started in your search for information and shopping for replacement batteries.
BatterySpec.com is a comprehensive portal intended to provide the shopper with a way to find a replacement battery for almost any application. Be sure and have the information available before you start.
Panasonic Lithium-Ion Batteries offers a good web site for researching types and sizes of rechargeable Li-Ion batteries for general purpose use and for applications such as laptops.
International Batteries is a small but growing New Jersey manufacturer of large Lithium-Ion batteries for industrial and vehicle applications.
Chargers and Battery Managers
Leave your car parked for more than two weeks at a time? Going on a vacation? A battery tender for your car or motorcycle can be obtained from your local motorcycle dealer or auto parts store. We have a link here for a web source. If you need one for your SLA or Li-Ion battery, check out some of these web pages to get you started.
AutoGeek.com sells a full line of battery tenders for your SLA or special-purpose battery as well as for cars and motorcycles. If your scooter doesn't have a really good battery tender, or if the tender doesn't come out when you take the battery indoors to control its storage temperature, look here to get started.
Pacific Battery is another source for a full line of battery tenders for all lead-acid battery applications.
BTECH is a portal site for commercial and industrial entities that need battery managers or related services and products.
EVBMS is a web forum for people who design and build battery management systems for rechargeable batteries for vehicles, including large Li-Ion batteries for electric vehicles and hybrids.
Professional Racing of Electric Vehicles??? Yes. Believe it. Electric and hybrid motor vehicles may be the future of high-performance cars and motorcycles too.